As she stared at the ultrasound monitor, one mom-to-be couldn’t understand what she was seeing. And to make matters worse, her nurse seemed to be equally perplexed. But she soon discovered that her pregnancy was a one-in-a-million event.
Lauren and Michael Whiteley live in the city of Detroit in Michigan. There, Michael teaches science to the seventh grade. Lauren, meanwhile, works as a private school teacher in Macomb County.
Yet although the couple were busy with work, they doted on their young children. By late 2014, they were parents to two sons: Lucas, aged three, and Nolan, two. Furthermore, they had just discovered that Lauren was pregnant again.
The Michigan mom would no doubt have been excited when, eight weeks into her pregnancy, she attended her first ultrasound scan. However, during the appointment she was given some news that she hadn’t been expecting. And the discovery left her speechless.
As she’d been looking at the scan, Lauren hadn’t been able to make out her baby. Moreover, her ultrasound technician began to act strangely. “It was the ultrasound tech that kind of left the room, came back and I thought something was wrong,” Lauren told the Daily Mail.
Although Lauren was worried, she had no idea what was going on. So, when the ultrasound technician came back in the room, the expectant mother decided to quiz her. And that was when Lauren was given the biggest surprise of her life.
First, the expecting mom asked if something was wrong. “She said, ‘No it’s good news,’” Lauren later revealed. “I said, ‘Oh my gosh! It’s twins, isn’t it?’ She said, ‘No, I see three.’ This was the shock of a lifetime.”
In the U.S., triplets are more common in mothers who have taken fertility drugs. However, Lauren had managed to conceive without the aid of any such treatment. And, according to research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, triplets account for just 0.1 percent of births.
Furthermore, the likelihood of Lauren and Michael having triplets was even lower still, as multiple births do not run in their families. And the surprises kept on coming when doctors discovered that Lauren had only one placenta – meaning that the triplets would be identical. As a result, the medical staff said the pregnancy was a “one in a million” occurrence.
After the ultrasound scan had been completed, Lauren returned home to Michael, and he couldn’t believe the news either. Michael later told the Macomb Daily that he kept asking his wife, “Triplets? Are you sure?” Indeed, he found the news just as overwhelming as his wife did.
So in January 2015 the expectant parents welcomed three more boys to their family. The identical triplets were born in Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital, and the couple decided to name them Nicholas, Timothy and Alexander.
Now Lauren and Michael were the parents of five boys. “We were trying for a girl, but we aren’t trying anymore,” Michael admitted. Being a big ice hockey fan, he joked, “We have our offensive and defensive lines, everything but the goalie.”
The triplets were tiny, and each weighed less than five pounds when they were born. As a result, doctors placed them in an intensive care unit at the hospital. And it was a whole month before Lauren and Michael could take their babies home.
“All seven of us were under the same roof for the first time,” Michael later told the Macomb Daily. “The feeling, it was overwhelming.” Lauren added, “I always wanted a big family. And I guess this is the way to do it, get them all at once.”
Luckily for Lauren and Michael, both of their families lived nearby. And thankfully, they were happy to help out with the kids, four of whom were still in diapers. In fact, the couple’s parents often came round to give them both a break from their considerable care-giving commitments.
“Every day, my parents or Lauren’s parents come over from 9:00 p.m. to midnight so we can get a solid block of sleep,” Michael said. “That has been a lifesaver.” And that wasn’t the only help the couple were given.
Many of their friends and colleagues were also keen to support the couple, and dozens of them decided to cook meals for the busy family. As a result, the Whiteleys’ refrigerator soon stacked up with frozen meals.
Their friends also organized a fundraiser to get Lauren and Michael everything from baby clothes to diapers. “I had to tell my aunt, who created a website with people signing up to make meals, ‘Thank you very much. But we can’t eat anymore!’” Michael revealed.
Soon, the Whiteleys had settled into life as a family of seven. And no doubt the five boys will keep their parents on their toes as they grow up. But thanks to their supportive friends and family, there’s certainly plenty of love to go around.
“Our family is a big binder to us,” Michael said. “We are very close to our family and friends – our colleagues and neighbors are almost like an extended family. There’s a reason why all of this happened the way it did.”